A trio of children’s books arrived in bookstores this week, carrying a message that can be neither overstated nor overvalued. Caryn Rivadeneira and Beaming Books launched Raise Generous Kids, a website featuring Caryn’s three new books: Mine! A Counting Book about Sharing teaches babies and toddlers to count things that belong to them, and then share with others. The author co-ops that favorite word of toddlers, “mine,” and makes it a teaching tool about math and manners. Obviously meant for… Read more

Please welcome my friend, Dr. Julie Shannon, to the blog today. She writes at the intersection of faith and family, specifically families in crisis. I hope you are encouraged by her thoughts on how the childless can redeem what can be a difficult back-to-school process. Find out more about Julie on her website. The close of summer peeks over the horizon. As sunny, salty days begin to conclude, a hint of fall is in the air—a new school year is… Read more

The Dallas/Fort Worth news headline boldly proclaimed: Fort Worth pimp ‘Zigg’ gets life for sex-trafficking children. The Boston Herald shouted Man gets 5 years in prison for human trafficking conviction. Arrests and convictions for trafficking continue to make news, but that means the problem is much larger than what actually makes it to court. The fight against sex trafficking, particularly that of children, has gained a foothold in the public sphere in recent years, and nonprofits like 4theONE hope to keep it that way…. Read more

“The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field. . .” (Psalm 103:15). Time is tricky. I’ve been reminded lately that life plods along while simultaneously galloping down the stretch. Perhaps it’s a product of being forty-something, when my oldest child anticipates his senior year of high school while I’m having lunch with old high school friends of my own. I might not feel old enough for this stage of life, but the number of my… Read more

Not many authors can write to audiences of all ages. We tend to “speak” better to adults or children, men or women, rather than effectively communicating to a cross-section of all types. Caryn Rivadeneira, however, defies those odds. Mother of three, on staff at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in the Chicago area, Caryn wrote the widely-praised Grit and Grace: Heroic Women of the Bible,* aimed at children aged 8–12. I reviewed that book last year shortly after it released, describing… Read more

With the usual caveat that my parents weren’t perfect, I freely admit that I have big shoes to fill as a mother. My parents fed, clothed, and schooled my brothers and me. They cheered us on and worked hard to give us every chance at success. They loved us. And they consistently disciplined us. Paul’s command in Ephesians 6:1—“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right”—made perfect sense to me as a child. When I obeyed a… Read more

As my oldest anticipates his senior year in high school, we have talked often about his plans for college, a major to study, and a potential career track. We all see the particular gifts and interests that make him suitable for what he thinks he wants to do. During this process I realized something important: no matter what he chooses to do with his life, he will in one way or another participate in reflecting or restoring the image of God… Read more

Do Americans still use biblical terminology accurately? Do we even understand basic faith-related terms anymore? Jonathan Merritt, a writer for The Atlantic, The Weekly, and Religion News Services (RNS), contends that our pluralistic society less and less comprehends common spiritual language. Why does this matter? If we can’t communicate about sacred terminology, the legacy of faith communities themselves is threatened. My Dallas-area buckle-of-the-Bible-belt friends will probably raise their eyebrows in surprise to hear a suggestion that sacred words are out… Read more

Swipe. Nine days behind schedule. Thanks, Youversion. Have you ever seen an icon appear at the top left corner of your phone and feel the urge to swipe? Maybe it’s just Remind 101 or your calendar. Or maybe it’s your Bible app acting as the “good angel” on your shoulder. But you. . . Swipe. Not every day, of course. I am the one who set this program up, so I can’t really be upset when it tells me I’ve fallen… Read more

What, you ask, was trending on Twitter recently? Perhaps the #TrumpKimSummit to mark the meeting between the presidents of the US and North Korea? Or, closer to home, #SBC18 for the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Dallas? No, the internet was enthralled with a critter: a raccoon scaled the 24-story skyscraper, the UBS building in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, and seemed stuck for hours. Embed from Getty Images Local news crews began live feeds of what became dubbed #MPRRaccoon… Read more

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